MAS price versus educational discount price in UK

My 30 day free trial period is almost at its end and I’m yet another Scrivener convert, wondering how it was I ever managed with Word alone!

One quick query though, the price on the UK Mac App Store is £26.99 and direct from eSellerate is £29.80 after VAT for an education licence. Could the latter price not be lower and still give the developers a bigger cut of the sale versus a sale on the MAS where Apple take 30%?

I’m not being mean, I just thought I would point out there could be a discrepancy there for those students who would rather put more money in the developers’ pockets while staying away from the App Store. Call me paranoid, but who knows if potential future changes to the rules could restrict the App Store version?


Thanks for wanting to buy! There is a bit of a price discrepancy in the UK (we’re English too by the way) but unfortunately the only way we could deal with it would be to bring down the educational price further for all countries (we cannot price by country, there’s no way to do that) and it’s already rather cheap for what it is (of course, I would think that seeing as I’m the one who has spent years sweating over it :slight_smile: ). The main problem is the way Apple deal with pricing bands. The developer has to choose a single pricing band which is then used to determine the price across all territories. So, we chose band 45, which is $44.99 in the US. Unfortunately, Apple price that same band at £26.99 in the UK, which is a little odd. Doesn’t VAT get added to the MAS purchase as well though?

We probably do need to look into this further, but we didn’t really enter into the App Store with the intention of reducing our revenue outside of the store as well, so it’s a bit of a tricky one. Thanks for bringing it to our attention though.

All the best,

Hi Keith,

first of all, some more praise. I did a little reading on the main site after you said you were English too and am now doubly impressed that such a small team has produced such a fantastic tool! I have yet to really explore all the features to see which will be of use to me —that will come after my rapidly approaching essay deadlines— but its already made the way I research and write easier and more enjoyable. You’ve probably heard this many times from new users, but after beginning to use Scrivener I had a realization that Word and its like are simply formatting tools and not aids to writing as a creative process. It seems so obvious now… I suppose the feeling I’m trying to express is one of embarrassment and regret: why didn’t I realize it sooner? So, once again, thank you!

Now, as for the pricing issue, the Mac App Store includes VAT in all its prices. As far as I can work out, and correct me if I’m wrong, you, as the developer, won’t be receiving 70% of £26.99 but 70% of £22.49, the price before VAT is added. And am I right in understanding that eSellerate can only fix one educational discount across all countries? If that is the case, then between that and the App Store price banding, it seems little can be done to resolve the discrepancy.

One last question: if I purchase through the App Store will Scrivener no longer automatically check for updates upon launch? Will I instead have to open up the App Store in order to check? If so, this seems a big flaw in the MAS and a step backwards from programs checking themselves.


Hi Alan,

Many thanks for all the kind words, I really appreciate it. I’m glad Scrivener seems helpful so far - the things you say really describe exactly why I created it in the first place, and it’s always nice to know it clicks with others too.

As to the price: ah, now you mention it, yes, you’re right: this would explain why the percentage Apple takes outside of the US is more like 40% than 30%, to account for VAT and suchlike. Which makes it all the more odd that they charge such a low price in the UK for the equivalent in the US. I’d like to come up with an easy fix but it’s not so easy - I don’t know if it’s possible to set prices per-country in eSellerate (I don’t think it is but I could be wrong) and even if it were, we’d get complaints from US users if we made the price cheaper in other countries to allow for MAS oddities. Argh. :slight_smile:

As for updates, the Mac App Store handles all of that, you are right. However, as of version 2.0.6, which will be available in the next month I hope, Mac App Store customers will be able to use the regular version from our site if they really want to - the Mac App Store version will write its licence receipt to a location that the regular version can read and verify. So it would be up to you which version you used.

Thanks again and all the best,

Thanks for the speedy replies Keith,

I somewhat misrepresented the update process for the Mac App Store in my previous post, and thought I would clarify for any others reading this. Although you do have to open the store to download and install updates, the Dock icon will indicate if there are any updates to be had by displaying a number in its corner, à la iOS. This still seems a little backward compared to the program itself handling updates, and would be especially inconvenient if you’re someone who uses the App Store infrequently and so removes the icon from the Dock.

After a little more reading on the main site I discovered that multiple installations are covered by the “household” licence. This is the last real advantage that I thought the MAS version of Scrivener had over the normal version. As such, I’ll be buying it direct, as it were, through eSellerate, happy in the knowledge that more money is going to the actual developers. :smiley:

Good luck for the future and thanks again for all the hard work.

Thanks Alan, much appreciated!

All the best,

P.S. The red badge that indicates updates in the MAS Dock icon drives me nuts - it’s bad enough that Mail is always nagging me that I have e-mail to attend to. :slight_smile:

I have “purchased” a few free apps and one or two paid apps, and what I do like about the mac app store is that it handles the updates. While it may seem backwards when you consider apps individually, what you gain is the advantage of never falling behind in updates on infrequently used programs. Also, you aren’t confronted with the update dialogue when you intended to actually use your app, which is another advantage in my view.

Consider if you have (merely) twenty programs that you have installed on your computer which are not updated by the Mac’s Software Update service. If you want to keep your software up to date, the only way to do it with self-updating programs is to launch each one, and if it doesn’t present you with an update dialogue, you go to Help(or application)->Check for Updates to be sure. Then quit the program, launch the next one. Repeat many times… OR launch one application (MAS) and click the updates icon there.

The Mac App Store makes convenient what was once unthinkably tedious (and therefore never done).

If I could register every single piece of software on my mac with some update service that I could invoke when it was convenient for me, rather than when I load each individual program, I would do it in a heartbeat. As it stands, not everything is available in the MAS, and even if it were, I probably won’t ever buy Scrivener that way. I’m too invested in Lit & Lat’s community, and therefore know about Scrivener updates before my computer does. Besides, MAS purchases don’t give me upgrade discounts or NaNoWriMo winner pricing, and more of my dollars go to L&L through “direct” purchasing. All things being equal though, I prefer the MAS update model.

There is a program called MacKeeper that does a bunch of things, one of which is to look at all of your software and tell you which ones are up to date or not, and ‘volunteering’ to download and install an upgraded program.
Its not bad. It might be what you want.
I have no idea how it works with MAS products. I have tried to stay away from MAS.


Thanks for pointing that out, Don. I’ll have to take a look at it sometime soon.

MacUpdate also sell a desktop application for monitoring and updating your software. I haven’t used it, but I probably will soon as I got a free six month trial when I bought the last MacUpdate Bundle. So there’s two options for your non-MAS software Robert! :slight_smile:

However, MacKeeper are doing some ridiculous bundle offer at the moment, so I’d maybe check that out first. I’ve never used any of their software either so I can’t vouch for it.

As for your analysis of the MAS updating process, I agree, it does make sense to have everything in one place, so to speak. And I certainly never trawl through all of my applications to systematically check for updates. I’m simply happy to have each program check every time I open it, and to let those programs I don’t regularly use to fall behind until I do eventually open them. I suppose my fear is that I’ll forget to check for updates when I have to click on something else although I realise that is partly laziness on my part. Perhaps I’m also against the Mac App Store’s style of curation. I haven’t fully thought it through so I could be convinced either way, but I’ve always be niggled by the level of control that Apple likes to exhibit over its devices and so ultimately over its end users, and so the idea of an iOS mentally taking hold on the computer end of things worries me. Again, I haven’t thought about this properly, and I certainly don’t know all the facts, I’m just expressing some vague musings…

Anyway, I’m off now to use my newly purchased Scrivener. If only it could write those essays for me! A future feature request maybe? :wink:

Thanks for buying!

Heh, wait until you try Lion. :slight_smile: Actually, I love Lion so far, but at the moment - and I hope they change it before release - there are too many default settings you have to change to make it feel like a proper computer again. Once you’ve changed them, though, it’s a great OS… I can’t say more than that, because I’m under NDA, of course.

Thanks again!

All the best,